COURT COSTS HIM PLENTY
It was a dark and stormy night. It was after 8 p.m. and it was windy, snowing sideways, with over an inch of snow already on the roads.
I was leaving Findlay on West Bigelow Avenue/County Road 95. As I approached County Road 140, a car was approaching from the north, my right. I stopped, leaving ample space for that driver, with left turn signal on, to negotiate the turn.
After it was clear, I started up again, continuing west on Township 95. As I crossed the intersection I saw headlights come over the crest from the north, a distance of two tenths of a mile. That car turned and proceeded to follow me. I was alarmed at the speed it was gaining on me and debated, do I move to the center of this road or try to locate the edge without getting stuck?
At that moment I was more greatly alarmed by the flashing blue lights. I thought I must have a taillight out.
I was told I did not stop at the intersection. I denied it. I received a citation.
I’ve been driving nearly 70 years and have received one citation in over 40 years for a non-injury accident. You don’t build that kind of a record with careless driving.
At the first court appearance, I chose the option of consulting with an appointed attorney who advised I could, because of my good record, avoid going to trial and there would be no points on my license nor would my name appear in the newspaper (horror!)
The catch: I would have to be willing to pay the court costs. The fine would have been $125. The court costs were $97, plus my lost time from work.
If this would have been done out on the road that night, it would have cost me nothing. If I am innocent why should I pay court costs? In defense of the arresting officer, a state trooper, the attorney’s closing words were, “Technically, you are guilty.” My closing words are, technically, I’m not guilty.
Did I hear someone say, sounds like a racket?
USE THE HEALING SIDE OF THE SWORD
As Christians we are encouraged to speak up for our beliefs. However, in a forum such as “Readers’ Views” where people of all beliefs are reading, we must be careful not to use the Christian double-edged sword as the cutting tool without emphasizing the most important side of the sword, that of healing.
The fundamental of Christian faith is to come to acknowledgement of our weaknesses and failures, i.e., sin.
The Bible says, “All have sinned. There is none righteous.” Jesus himself said, “There is no one good except God.” That is the cutting side of the sword.
Now that we are all on the same footing, only those who lay down their pride and say, “I believe and need a savior” can come in.
That step being taken, we are now subject to the healing side of the sword. We now obtain relief from guilt whether it is legitimate or self-made. Now, there is a link to God. Our lives become fulfilling as we live the Christian way.
Let me stop here. In this posting there will be those who may even take offense to what I have said.
I stated my interpretation of the Christian faith to provide a middle road between William Stock’s views and Stuart Schakett’s. I think Mr. Schakett’s letter (May 8), “Giving hate a platform” expresses what statements such as Mr. Stock’s can bring.
Stock’s statements in “Right to speak up” (letter, May 5) are of the cutting side of the sword. Even though we may have a right to express ourselves, it is like going in a crowded mall and swinging a sharp sword, mowing off people’s heads. We are not going to win people with those methods.
Meanwhile, there are many Christians serving soup dinners to the poor and homeless and many other acts of service to the community. They are being quiet verbally but using the healing side of the sword.
Robert D. Poe
DID WE ALL MISS THE POINT?
To all those concerned The Courier may stop printing letters referencing religion merely because I urged an end to religious-based bigotry, rest assured that is unlikely to happen — there will probably be no end to religious exhortations in these pages.
We may have all missed the point, but that’s probably because I was inelegant in my attempt to make it. While I personally feel the letters to the editor are no place for scripture, my real point was to urge the newspaper to desist printing letters that dehumanize or marginalize anyone.
The Bible has been used as a bludgeon against far too many for far too long — from slaves, to women, to people of different faiths — and it is irresponsible to allow it to continue in so public a forum.
There are too many children struggling with their sexuality to continue to print ad hoc vitriol against gays for little reason than because some lonely soul has little else to do. Every time a gay kid hangs him or herself in a cold garage because he or she feels demonized in this community, we all lose a bit of our humanity, because we failed to defend them.
Whether we like it or not, we live in a pluralistic society. We cannot impress our singular wishes on every member of it. (If I could, for example, there would be no more “country” music.)
I cannot convince everyone of the parasitism of corporate money in elections. You cannot convince me that voter ID laws are reasonable. That’s the way it works. One person’s repugnant inhumanity toward gays, or Jews, or atheists, whether or not they couch it in biblical terms, should never appear to define this paper, or this community. That’s not who we should aspire to be.
You don’t “approve” of gays? Don’t be gay, I guess. People don’t choose, they just are. If one chooses to be on the right side of history, like abolitionists, they will choose to defend love, no matter what form.
I want The Courier to stop printing letters from bigots, and that’s all.